Happy New Year!

Carie’s family has a tradition of doing fondue on Christmas Eve.  We’ve modified that tradition just a bit and do it on New Years Eve.  This year was no different.  After an early dinner at my favorite restaurant, Mungo’s, we put together the traditional fondue.

Here’s a shot of the kids enjoying fresh pineapple, strawberries, bananas, pound cake, & marshmallows dipped in chocolate.

Wishing you all the best in 2010,

Braddog

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Superbowl Eats

Like most guys who wield a BBQ pit for fun, Super Sunday is a day that I cook. This year I was headed over to a neighbor’s for the game and there was to be plenty of food, so I focused on finger foods and appetizers.

With all the buzz about the Bacon Explosion this week, I decided I’d put one of those together. I also did one of my favorites and put together a batch of ABT’s. Then for something new, I did a batch of “Moinkballs”. That’ a cross between “moo” & “oink” (moo + oink = moink). They’re very easy to do . Just wrap a half a slice of bacon around a meatball, smoke, brush with BBQ sauce, and serve.

Here are some shots of my Superbowl Eats:

Bacon Explosion ready to cook:

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Fresh off the cooker:

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ABT’s and Moinkballs

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And a few of each as they came off of the cooker:

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So what did you cook on Sunday?  Drop me a line and let me know.

Cheers,
Braddog

3,2,1..RIBS!

I was asked to do ribs for a birthday party on Saturday night, so I fired up the Big Green Egg and did what I do best!  BBQ!

The general approach behind the 3-2-1 method is this:

  • 3 hrs on the cooker, using an indirect setup
  • 2 hrs wrapped in aluminum foil with a cup of apple juice
  • 1 hr unwrapped, back on the cooker with sauce if desired.

This would give you a total cooking time of 6 hours, but I’ve found that using a slightly modified version of this method I can have great ribs in about 5 hours.  So here’s the blow by blow on how I do ribs.

  • The first step, and a very important one, is to remove the membrane from the underside of each rack of ribs.  Removing the membrane allows the rubs to penetrate the meat.  It also has a papery consistency when cooked if you don’t remove it.
  • Just like pork butt, I slather each slab with a coating of yellow mustard followed by the BBQ rub of your choice.
  • Setup the cooker for indirect cooking and stabilize the temp at 250 degrees.
  • Put the ribs on the cooking grate with the meaty side up.
  • Cook indirect for 3 hours.  By the end of 3 hours, the meat should begin to pull back from the bone nicely.
  • After 3 hours, wrap each rack individually in foil.  Add a cup of apple juice to each foil pack and return them to the cooker for 60-75 minutes.  I usually put them back on the cooker with the meaty side down.
  • After a little more than an hour, remove the ribs from their respective foil pouches, brush both sides lightly with sauce (optional), and return them to the cooker for 45mins to an hour,  to let them firm up and the sauce get good and sticky.  Be careful removing them from the foil because they will likely be falling apart.
  • That’s it!  Serve ‘em up and enjoy!

Cheers,
Braddog

Grandma’s Divinity

One of my favorite Christmas memories is spending Christmas day at my Grandmother’s house.  We would all descend on her home for lunch and gift giving.  When we arrived, she invariably had trays of Christmas candy about the house.  I remember plates of fudge, peanut brittle, hard cinnamon candy and her divinity.

This Christmas my Mother shared her divinity recipe with me.  She has a lot of Grandma’s recipes, but this copy is in Grandma’s own handwriting.  So, I scanned it and thought I’d share it with you.

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Grandma’s been gone for awhile now, but as long as we have her recipes and our memories she’ll always be part of us.

Cheers,
Braddog

Keurig Single Serve Coffee Maker – Followup

About a month ago, I posted about our experience with the Keurig Special Edition B-60. As I hinted then, we picked up one for ourselves for the holidays.  I subsequently have placed a larger order for coffee supplies from Keurig.  We’ve really enjoyed it at the holiday gatherings this year starting with Thanksgiving.

As a side effect of my experience, good friends of mine have also acquired a machine.  And now, it sounds like there may be at least one purchase from my family and maybe others.  Man, I should be getting a commission on these things!  🙂

Cheers,
Braddog

Traditional Holiday Luncheon, Brisket & Pulled Pork

We scheduled a holiday luncheon with my new team.  Now with nearly 70 folks in the department, I dont’ really have the capacity to BBQ for everyone.  So when we asked everyone to bring  a dish, I thought heck there’s no reason my dish can’t be BBQ.  I’m glad it was too.  While we had lots of other stuff including sandwiches from a local shop, it didn’t stop the team from plowing through an 8 lb. brisket flat and 12 lbs. of pork butt.

I fired up the Big Green Egg last night at a little after 8:00pm and got the meat on shortly before 9:00pm.  I kept an eye on it until around midnight before I turned in.  Woke up at 3:00am and took a quick look at the temperature guage, tweaked the lower vent, and was back in bed in about 10 minutes.  Got up at 6:00am and took my first reading of the meat temp.  Brisket came off the BGE at 7:45am and the butts about an hour later.  I wrapped them in foil, stuck them in a cooler, and sliced the brisket and pulled the butts right before lunch at 11:30am.

Everyone seemed to enjoy the BBQ as well as the opportunity to hang out and celebrate the holidays.  I know I did.
Cheers,
Braddog

BBQ Porn

My wife looks at me strangely when I grab the camera to snap some pics of my latest BBQ creation.  I guess I started photographing the process to share with other “enthusiasts” (some would call us freaks).  But I don’t think it’s that crazy.

Anyway, I fired up the Big Green Egg last night and put a 7 lb. beef brisket on for lunch today and sandwiches the rest of the week.  I used a rub that a co-worker gave me a while back.  It’s called Brisket Rub and it’s from the Goode Company in Texas.  I’ve liked most of the stuff from this outfit, but I think there are other brisket rubs that I like better.

I tended the fire late into the night, watched the Nittany Lions knock off the Buckeyes, and saw most of game 3 of the World Series.  I finally called it a night around midnight, slept soundly for 6 hours, and woke to find the egg chugging along peacefully at 235 degrees.  The brisket was done, so I wrapped it in foil, stuck it in a dry cooler, and got another hour of sleep.

Here’s what lunch looks like today.  Now who’s crazy?  🙂

(Phydeaux, check out the bokeh with my 50mm prime!)

Cheers,
Braddog